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Intercession of Mary & the Saints

bvm_024QUESTION:  Why must Mary intercede? And what if she doesn’t want to? Does that mean your prayers are not heard by Jesus? I guess this question goes for praying to all the Saints.

Why? How can she not? If you are watching a football game and the receiver gets the ball, are you not rooting him on to victory? The crowd becomes like one unified whole— shouting, singing, doing the wave, etc. This analogy offers but a pale point of reference to the role of Mary and the saints. We are all in this together— the journey from mortal to eternal life. The very definition of a saint makes what the division you suggest impossible. The sanctity of heaven implies the utter transformation of one into a new Christ— of one mind and will with our Lord. What he wants, they want. A little girl in church was asked one time for the definition of a saint. She looked at the figures in the stained-glass windows and replied, “Saints are those who allow the light to shine through.” Quite right! And the Light of the World is Christ, dispelling the darkness of ignorance, sin, and death. This process of conversion begins in this life; we can and should be perfected in holiness by the grace of God. We can be ever remade into Christ’s image. Heaven simply brings this development to its full conclusion. People who knew Mother Teresa said that to be near her was almost like being in the presence of Jesus— so fully did she manifest the living Christ in her faith and life. We can also become saints if we allow God to so work in our lives. We need to seek a restoration of all things in Christ, including ourselves. The question about division between the saints and Jesus says less about the heavenly hosts than about ourselves— our own brokenness and bondage to sin— our own refusal to fully embrace the Gospel of Life. Sometimes selfishness and hatred invade our prayers; such is never the case for Mary and the Saints. They are immaculate windows to the divine. Further, they are a part of us. The Church in Glory is inextricably united to the earthly Church in Glory and the Church in Purgation. The Mystical Body (Eph. 1:23; 1 Cor. 12:27) remains intact. The saints intercede for us precisely as perfectly conformed elements in this wondrous union. Death is not the end of love. This is at the heart of Christ’s resurrection— his Father’s Love (the Holy Spirit no less) restored him back to life. The family of God in heaven has not forgotten those of us still facing the trial. Love compels them to remember us and to pray for us.

14 Responses

  1. I wanted to know what will happen if I die? My body will be decomposed. What about my soul? What will happen to my soul? Please explain.

    FATHER JOE: The Church teaches that at death there is a particular judgment. Catholics and Protestants alike believe that the righteous and sanctified soul goes to heaven while the damned goes to hell. Heaven is a participation in the happiness and life of God. We will see God. Hell is the abode of those who broke off their friendship with God. They must suffer from the frustration of this eternal estrangement as well as from a punishment of the senses referred to as fire. It has been speculated that the fire is God’s last gift to the damned, a distraction from their alienation from God, the one for whom they were made. If heaven is the house of love then hell is the abode of hatred. Catholics also believe that some souls must pass through Purgatory were they are perfected by the fire of God’s love. The poor souls suffer but they are happy because they will go to heaven. The Church also teaches that there is a last or general judgment and that we will be reconstituted body and soul. In other words, the dead will rise. We will not be disembodied souls or ghosts forever.

  2. Fr Joe if you say that Mother Mary intercedes for us to Lord Jesus, I want to believe that… But before that I would like you to clear my doubt. In John chapter 2 verse 1 – 6 when mother said to Jesus about they have no more wine, why Jesus said, “Dear woman why do you involve me? My time has not yet come.” As per Catholic dogma Mother Mary intercede for us and Jesus hears her prayers.. If so, then why did Jesus not hear her request about the wine in the wedding? Jesus did a miracle only at his appointed time by God and He did not listen to Mary’s request. He could have done that and helped us to believe that Jesus hears our prayers when Mary intercedes for us.

    FATHER JOE:

    I am confused by your comment. Jesus does indeed respond to her request. We read: “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servers, ‘Do whatever he tells you’” (John 2:1-5). Note that there is no argument or debate. She knows what he will do. Because of the request and need, Jesus makes it his time and he will perform his first miraculous sign. Why might Jesus have been hesitant? I suspect because now he will enter into his public ministry. The days of his hidden life come to an end. The next three years will lead to his passion and death.

    The reading continues: “Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, ‘Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.’ So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him” (John 2:6-11).

  3. In Matthew chapter 1:25 It says “But he (Joseph) had no union with her (Mary) until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
    The word “until” suggests that mother Mary was a virgin till Lord Jesus was born not after that, Right?

    FATHER JOE: No, it is merely a fluke of language and translation. The emphasis is that Jesus is the product of a virgin birth. Nothing is implied at all about after the birth. Tradition tells us that Mary was a perpetual virgin. She never had relations with Joseph and the brethren were likely cousins.

  4. Fr Joe.. Why there is an Assumption of Mary take into heaven? Why there is no solid evidence in the Bible about the same? Are we not suppose to believe in the Word of God as in Bible, rather than any assumptions made years ago by Pope?

    FATHER JOE: The Church is older than the Bible. The Gospels focus upon the life of Jesus, not Mary. Her assumption or translation into heaven is an ancient teaching believed by Christians both in the West and the East. The Eastern churches speak of it as the Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Blessed Theotokos (God-Bearer). The Book of Revelation makes allusions to it, although Mary as “the Woman” is a paradigm or model for the Church. Remember that the Catholic Church preached the Good News before we had a canonical Bible. Not all traditions are in Scripture, just those truths most necessary to our salvation. Christianity has two sources of revelation: Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. It was only with the reformation some 1,500 years after Christ that certain Protestants tried to change Christianity from a faith that focused on a person (Christ), community (Church) and mysteries (sacraments) into a religion of the Book (Bible).

  5. There are absolutely no scriptures that back up what you say, and if there are I’ll eat my shoes.

    FATHER JOE:

    There are a number of Scriptures and arguments made in the post and in the many accompanying comments. Of course, Catholic practice is based upon both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. The basis for many Catholic teachings emerges from an antiquity where there is an unbroken line of teaching, preaching and discipline that goes back to the institution of the Church by Christ. Those who deny this truth about the Church are often misled upon many other matters. I would have you not eat your shoes but rather the Bread of Life or Eucharist that Jesus gave believers. But that is another truth you certainly deny.

    The Book of Revelation is the last to be written and it reflects both God’s inspiration and the mind of the early Church. John sees the twenty-four elders (in heaven) fall down before the Lamb, each “holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Revelation 5:8). The holy ones of heaven offer prayers for the holy people of God on earth. The saints include human beings and angels. We read: “An angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints from the hand of the angel before God” (Revelation 8:3-4). The unique mediation of Christ does not invalidate our intercession for one another. Indeed, our Lord wills it as an expression of the Church’s profound unity.

  6. Nice human analogy Fr Joe, but let us visit the Bible.

    First, if Mary and the so called ‘saints’ were alive, you could ask them to pray for you just as any Christian could pray for another, but they are so dead and by asking them to pray for you, you are more dead than they are.

    FATHER JOE:

    At first I took you to be an atheist who does not believe in the resurrection of Jesus. But wait, if such were the case, why would you direct us to the Bible? Are you an SDA proponent of soul sleep? As I recall, they even deny the existence of hell. Sorry, but the Bible gives ample evidence that the dead are conscious and not consumed by the grave. We even see this with the Transfiguration where Moses and Elijah appear with our Lord. Jesus’ redemptive act would open heaven to us. Jesus rose from the dead and promised that those who believe, take up their crosses and follow him would have a share in his life. Jesus keeps his promises. We are made adopted sons and daughters of the Father. As a family we can pray for one another, yes, even those on the other side of the grave.

    Second, we have only two intercessors before GOD OUR FATHER: Jesus who in Romans 8:34 is said to be at the rigth hand of God making intercession. Also in verse 26, the Holy Spirit maketh intercession for us……

    FATHER JOE:

    You are very much mistaken. Jesus is our Mediator and the Holy Spirit is our special Advocate or Paraclete. But the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three divine Persons in ONE GOD. The type of intercession is very different. The understanding of a saintly intercessor is literally one creature praying for another. We can pray for each other while in the world and the saints and angels can pray for us in the world to come. This is an expression of our solidarity with one another, as the living Church of Christ. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. We are one with the Lord. We offer ourselves with him. There is a profound unity here which you do not understand.

    Romans 8:34

    Who will condemn? It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.

    Jesus literally dies so that we might live. He is the eternal High Priest who sits at the right hand of God. God has come to save us!

    Romans 8:26-27

    In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.

    Our movement to God, the very gift of faith itself, is made possible by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God literally prays within us. Apart from this Spirit we would be unable to say that Jesus is Lord. Neither the role of the Spirit nor that of Jesus conflicts with our prayers for one another. Instead, it is a realization of what it means to put on the mind and the heart of Christ.

    Revelation 8:3-4

    Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a gold censer. He was given a great quantity of incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the holy ones, on the gold altar that was before the throne. The smoke of the incense along with the prayers of the holy ones (saints) went up before God from the hand of the angel.

    Remember the rich man in hell asked Abraham to help in anyway but he replied him that it was impossible. Be guided that the devil is very crafty.

    FATHER JOE:

    You must not be SDA because you seem to believe in hell. What is your denomination or do you just personally interpret a purloined bible? The parable actually works against your argument in that Abraham and the wicked rich man are conscious and in conversation. Abraham is in the abode of the dead, not heaven, given that the gates of heaven were closed by Original Sin. Jesus had yet to render his redemptive work of the Passion and Cross. There was indeed a vast gulf between the abode of the dead and that of the living. However, Jesus would be the great “pontifex” or bridge-builder between these two worlds. Our faith is not in ghosts who appear to the living but in the risen Jesus. That for which the rich man asks is a far cry from saintly intercession. Further, the damned cannot assist or intercede for us, only the blessed. In addition, we must be disposed to receive help and God’s grace. A selfish wish is not the same as a spirit-filled prayer made in Christ. Jesus makes possible our access to the Father. Jesus makes possible a passage that we could not make if left to ourselves. Our prayers are heard in heaven and we can go to heaven. The Jewish view of the afterlife is expanded. The limbo of the fathers ceases to exist. While the souls of the just were not extinguished or irrevocably dead; now they are alive in his grace and we do not have to fear the grave.

    Matthew 22:29-32

    Jesus said to them in reply, “You are misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven. And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

    The saints are not dead.

  7. What I read according to the Bible is that Mary is not a deity although we cannot dismiss the fact that she is highly favored by God. Her intercession to Jesus was made when she was still alive.

    And it is very clear that Mary is now dead and she can no longer hear our prayers for the simple fact that she is not deity. Only living saints, priests, the faithful, elders and those who walk with God can ask for intercession.

    FATHER JOE:

    Mary is indeed “highly favored” and she is both an intercessor and one who uniquely participates in Christ’s redemptive work. Her motherhood now extends over the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. She is given to us through John, our emissary at the Cross.

    It is very clear that you have an impoverished view of the resurrection. The salvific work of our Lord first touches his mother, in her preservation from sin and in her assumption. Mary and the saints are alive in the Lord. The whole notion of the communion of the saints is based upon the truth of this union of the Church in Pilgrimage with the Church in Glory. The notion of soul sleep or oblivion is popular among certain cults and the Adventists, but is inconsistent with the traditional Christian faith of the ages. Such beliefs are often connected with a denial of the soul and the existence of hell.

  8. I would like to search in the Bible where it says that Jesus feels honored when we honor Mary?

    FATHER JOE: Mary is his Mother. Jesus kept the commandments. Honoring her is imitation of Christ. Would you suggest that dishonoring her is in any way pleasing to Christ? When we look at the posture of the angel to her, as well as Elizabeth, the truth is clear. We are to give special deference to Mary.

    There is only one mediator between men and God and that is Jesus Christ.

    FATHER JOE: Yes, Jesus is the unique Mediator. This is also Catholic teaching. However, love and veneration of Mary is no threat to the salvific role of Christ. Indeed, Mary brings us back to her Son and even her titles defend his identity, as we see with calling her the Mother of God. Her Son is divine because only God can save us.

    It is easy when Jesus was on earth, to whom did he pray? God the Father, indeed it was the same way he taught his disciples how to pray.

    FATHER JOE: Jesus’ prayer in his humanity was not identical to ours in that Jesus is also God. People prayed, not only to the Father, but they appealed to Jesus directly. Here I think about the many who wanted healing from him. Jesus certainly spoke to his Mother but she was still on earth. Her posture to Christ was always as the first disciple. Mary is the “handmaid of the Lord.” Are you saying that Jesus never spoke to his Mother? Are you saying that he never kissed or held her? Are you saying that he never spent time with her? Please, get serious. Is that how you treat your mother?

    Mary was indeed a favored woman in the eyes of God but by no means was she sin free. Read Luke 1:46 when she gives thanks to God her savior, meaning there was sin in her.

    FATHER JOE: You misread the text. Note that she proclaims the Lord her Savior when he was still hidden in her womb. Jesus had not yet been born or offered his life on the Cross. She uses the “present” tense when she speaks of him as her Savior. She does not say that he WILL BE her Savior. The Cross of Jesus reached back into human history and touched Mary in the womb, preserving her from sin. She is saved before she could sin. She will be the immaculate vessel through whom the sinless one, the Christ, will come into the world. The power of Christ’s Cross touches us forward in time. Grace works both ways, backwards for Mary and forwards for you and me.

    The word of God cannot be compromised, there’s only ONE holy one and one mediator.

    FATHER JOE: But the Word of God can be misinterpreted. Such is the case with your view here. Matters are not as simple as you make out.

    God alone is self-sustaining, omnipresent and omniscient and does not need anybody else to help Him with the load of prayers.

    FATHER JOE: God is more than self-sustaining. God is the great “to be” or existence itself. Yes, he is everywhere, knows everything and is all powerful. However, these truths do not deny the reality that he calls to himself a community and would have us intercede and pray for each other. Mary and the saints are part of our spiritual family, the Church.

    To Jesus Christ alone may be all the glory and honor forever!

    FATHER JOE: Honoring Mary does not strip God of his glory. Indeed, the power and majesty of God is made manifest in how he has raised up the lowly and kept his promises of old. Mary is a blessed creature and a masterpiece among the saints. Dishonoring the work of creation is to cast dispersion upon the Creator.

  9. I’m done with you. I can’t see how people would even try to argue with you when you can’t see the other side’s perspective and then be a hypocrite about it. Good riddance.

    You’ve got to be the biggest hypocrite ever. Like you’re any better than me. You’re pretty pathetic. And you clearly can’t see things from other perspectives and make stupid assumptions. And I learned that the catholic church is the saddest form of christianity ever, to answer your question. The rest you figure since you seem to imply yourself as a know it all. Adios.

    FATHER JOE:

    I see your perspective precisely. That is part of the problem, not any spin that I might give but your failure to discern the truth about both your ignorance and your bigotry. You want YES or NO answers to questions that contain within themselves erroneous propositions. This is a weak tactic often used by anti-Catholics who are long on venom but short on facts. You are upset because you thought a feeble assumption or quick allegation would stump a learned Catholic and win points in your hypothetical debate. You even say yourself that you want no explanation or argumentation in response. Your weakness is immediately exposed. Then all you have left is name-calling and nastiness. I am not demanding that you agree with me. My hope is merely that you will escape a mindless prejudice and that you might clearly understand what Catholics truly believe, not the straw man positions you put forward.

    Look at your own words:

    “I checked out one other argument that you had with another guy and man you suck at rebuttal!”

    “Hypocrites are men who judge like you.”

    “And by men like you I mean hypocritical Christians, like you.”

    “But anyways, please answer my questions with simple answers and not long drawn out paragraphs.”

    “Well I’ll tell you this much you’re pretty stupid.”

    “You are a hypocrite big time for judging me.”

    “I’m surprised you actually gave a rebuttal.”

    “You’re the idiot.”

    “You suck.”

    “I am smarter than you.”

    “Now please do not reply.”

    “Adios, Mr. Joe.”

    “You really haven’t convinced me of anything.”

    “I’m going to stop talking to you now.”

  10. Whatever… you aren’t even open-minded. Nor are you capable of getting other people’s points and offering a good rebuttal. Man, dude, I checked out one other argument that you had with another guy and man you suck at rebuttal! Just give a straightforward answer i.e. yes or no and support your claim. Hypocrites are men who judge like you. I didn’t know it was okay for you to call me a bigot. To most that would be judging. And how about this, answer this question straightforward… if you can:

    Why do you pray to someone who is barely mentioned in the bible? Why pray to someone who was actually a sinner? How is Mary immaculate? Doesn’t the bible say that nobody was perfect except Jesus?

    And by men like you I mean hypocritical Christians, like you. But anyways, please answer my questions with simple answers and not long drawn out paragraphs. Oh and give me either a yes or no on the last one.

    FATHER JOE: I try to think with the mind of Christ and his Church. We should only be open-minded upon those matters where there is remains some irresolution. As for appreciating other viewpoints, I do all I can to ascertain what is being said and then, as a reasonable human being, I make a judgment. You seem less concerned about reasoning as you are in scoring debate points. My assessment that you are a bigot or anti-Catholic signifies no great stretch of the imagination. You come out and say as much by both your attitude and attempts to restrain honest dialogue. There is also a certain level of illogic in how you write. For instance, you demand a yes or no answer to ONE question, but then ask FOUR questions. In truth, no genuine answer will suffice for you. You have not come here to dialogue but to ridicule. I have readily explained the mystery of the Immaculate Conception. You are free to disagree or disagree. But yours is mockery, not discussion. You do not even ask YES or NO questions. You want capitulation. You want to feed your ego in believing that you can outwit a “hypocritical Christian” like me. It is all rather pathetic and I would suggest that you cease posting comments so that you might not be further embarrassing yourself. Believe it or not, Catholics believe that Jesus’ salvific Cross touches Mary in the womb of St. Ann, preserving her from sin. Believe it or not, God calls us as a community of sinners to become saints. Asking the saints to pray with and for us is an expression of the solidarity that we have as a community with Christ. Believe it or not, Catholics hold that all prayer has as its proper object, Almighty God. Yes, our Lord Jesus is perfect, but he also says this: “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

    Well I’ll tell you this much you’re pretty stupid.

    FATHER JOE: Yes, I would agree with you. However, I am not sure where that places you? The best you can do in this discussion is rendering personal attacks. That is pretty sad.

    I wasn’t trying to feed my ego for one, due to the fact I REALLY DON’T CARE TOO MUCH ABOUT IT.

    FATHER JOE: The capitalized words that you use say different. I am told that it means SCREAMING. You make yourself the arbiter of souls and of religious truth. Even I do not do that. I merely echo the teachings of the Church and the living Word.

    Two, you are a hypocrite big time for judging me.

    FATHER JOE: I may be a hypocrite because sin makes liars of all Christians; however, your ultimate judge is not me but Almighty God. I suspect that it is his judgment that you really resist. Face the truth about yourself. It is obvious from your words and attacks what you are really about.

    Three, I’m surprised you actually gave a rebuttal.

    FATHER JOE: You seemed surprised throughout this “dialogue.” Do most people just ignore you and/or delete your comments? There is nothing about your comments that lends itself to legitimate debate. A debate implies a logical sequence of assertions and all you have are negative slogans or allegations. My response has been less a rebuttal and more a corrective. You imagine that your spam is effective and yet it only damages your online reputation.

    Four you’re the idiot.

    FATHER JOE: I think we covered this allegation before. It reveals the depths of your wisdom and good manners… NOT! Is the “ad hominem” attack all that you have? Poor man, you think you are looking at me through a window but all you have is a mirror.

    Five, you suck at ascertaining points apparently.

    FATHER JOE: What points are these? There is a serious disconnect about what you write and apparently what you think you write. Are you a young person? If so continue with your studies before embarrassing yourself on topics about which you know next to nothing. And reconsider your manner. People can disagree about religious matters but still pursue courteous discourse.

    And by the way…I’ve learned about the Immaculate Conception…it’s still pretty pointless and not concrete enough for me.

    FATHER JOE: And what did you learn? What were the sources? Disagreeing is your business, all I tried to explain was that even Mary is touched by the redemptive Cross of her Son, Jesus Christ. The topic is not pointless for me or Catholics. It speaks to how the salvific power of Christ’s sacrifice is not locked into one place or time. We can all know forgiveness and sanctification.

    But you decide that for yourself. I did for myself already, obviously. Goodbye.

    FATHER JOE: I full well know my catechism and the importance of the Lord. But I also respect that religion is not a relationship of one but a community of faith. I speak as a minister or priest of Christ’s Church. You speak for yourself.

  11. There’s no evidence or facts that we should we pray to Mary. Not a word in the Bible. It’s a human made up story. She was his mother. How can the Creator who made all things including have a mother? Think!

    FATHER JOE: Thinking is precisely what you should do. You are falling prey to the ancient heresy of Nestorius against the title Theotokos or Mother of God. Such a return to ancient errors is bound to happen when people throw away 2,000 years of Church history. The Council of Ephesus in 431 AD defended the unity in Christ between his human and divine natures. Your attack against Mary ends up impugning the dignity and identity of Christ. While Mary is a creature, God the Son became man in Jesus Christ. Mary, like all mothers, is the Mother of her Son in his totality. This is the mystery of the incarnation. Nestorius argued that Mary might be called the Mother of the Man or the Mother of Christ, but not of God. However, such undermines Christ’s identity as the God-Man. The Church in Rome never had a problem with this like the Eastern churches. The Latin language was very familiar with the exchange of idioms. Another instance would be, “In Jesus, God died on the Cross.” Of course, God as God cannot die, but Jesus who was God could die in his human nature. Throughout, the unity between his divinity and humanity was intact. Think!

    Ask yourself this: Do I sin when I don’t pray to Mary?

    FATHER JOE: You sin if you show disrespect to Mary. Jesus kept the commandments and honored his mother and (step) father. Jesus loved Mary. If Jesus could love and honor his Mother, then why can we not do the same? Indeed, he gives her to our emissary John at the Cross and says, “Behold your mother!”

    Do I miss my blessings when I don’t pray to Mary?

    FATHER JOE: There is something very special and sacred about a mother’s blessings. I am reminded of parents who make the sign of the cross on the foreheads of their children at baptism. Mothers give us life and love us unconditionally. While Mary is a creature like you and me, she is singular in the story of salvation. I believe that God allows many graces to flow from him through her. So to answer your question, yes I believe you forfeit many blessings.

    Will I not enter heaven when I don’t pray to Mary?

    FATHER JOE: Only God can judge you but be warned, enmity against Mary, the saints and the Church is opposition to Jesus Christ. Crying out Lord, Lord may not be enough.

    Will God respond more slowly to me if I don’t pray to Mary?

    FATHER JOE: God responds as God responds. Mary will pray for you even as you ridicule her. Such is the posture of good mothers who love their reprobate sons. The real question is will you be receptive to God’s gifts. The spirit of belligerence does not make one a receptive vessel for the Lord’s grace. Remember, holiness rests upon four truths: (1) you are made holy and saved purely by God’s gift of grace; (2) you must be disposed to God’s action; (3) the weaning from sin and temptation, the transformation, brings with it struggle and pain; and (4) there is no alternative, no other way to grow in the kingdom and to know the joy of mystical or spiritual marriage.

    If the all your answers are NO, which they are, they you know that this whole Mary things is a created image. Don’t waste your time. It is illegal to pray, worship or venerate other than our Lord Jesus Christ.

    FATHER JOE: Actually my answers are not all in the negative. Mary is more than an image. She shares in the Lord’s resurrection. The immaculate heart of Mary beats in harmony with the sacred heart of Jesus. There is no competition or opposition. You would make illegal what God has sanctioned. Be careful about that. You might disagree with Catholics but such an attitude can place you in deadly opposition with the Holy Spirit. No one is forcing you to pray to the saints. But do not be so quick to judge Catholic Christians. The same Holy Spirit which inspired God’s Word is alive and well in the Catholic Church.

  12. It’s not rocket science— I’m saying you guys are praying to others when you aren’t supposed to so. And, I was told that “praying to others” was just simply putting in a word for me.

    FATHER JOE:

    Actually, I was going to say that you are the one who seems to be complicating the issue by denying the corporate nature of faith and the communion of the saints. You are not a family of one. We pray for each other and have confidence as Jesus told us that when two or more gather in his name, the Lord is there.

    Genuine Christians are intensely aware that the mystery of the resurrection means that death does not sever our link with our deceased brothers and sisters who have entered the fullness of the kingdom. Their prayers for us do not stop at the grave.

    You might not want anyone to pray for you but it is grievously wrong for you to tell Catholics that they can neither pray for each other nor ask for prayer. Prayers that address the saints are all intercessory in nature. We ask the heavenly saints to pray FOR and WITH us. All prayer has as its proper object, Almighty God. There are many forms of prayer: as with Adoration, Thanksgiving, Supplication, and Contrition.
    For one, I can pray to Jesus.

    FATHER JOE: Yes, you can pray to Jesus alone. But our Lord wanted more from us. That is why he gave us the Church that we might have one another and offer proper worship.

    Two, I don’t have to OR NEED TO PRAY to others.

    FATHER JOE: This is almost like saying that you do not need others. Statements like this become nonsensical when we look at the reality of faith. No one comes to God alone. The Bible books are collected, translated and passed down to us. Ministers, parents and friends shared their faith with us. Our history is filled with witnesses who continue to love and pray for us. They are still a part of us. Those who deny our need for others risk not seeing Christ in others and forfeiting that relationship as well. He comes to us in sacrament and in the mystical body of the Church. Rejection of this sacred communion is rejection of Christ.

    Third, I believe that if you’re bowing down your head with your hands closed (typical stance for prayer) and you are talking to someone else WHO ISN’T GOD, then you’re PRAYING TO THEM WHICH ISN’T WHAT GOD SAID TO DO.

    FATHER JOE: Intercessory prayer is a request that Mary and the saints pray along with us to the throne of God. All favor and grace originates with Almighty God. I cannot say if your failure to appreciate this distinction is invincible ignorance or representative of a deliberate obstinacy. You may prefer more direct prayers, but there is nothing wrong with such an approach to God. We acknowledge our kinship and union with one another and with Christ. Jesus entered the human family so that we might become members of God’s family.

    If you’re praying to someone else, as far as I’m concerned, THEN YOU ARE WORSHIPPING THEM, therefore violating the first commandment.

    FATHER JOE: Such a view is impoverished and narrow. We talk to many people— that does not mean that all conversation is divine worship. Your view would sound ridiculous to a learned Catholic Christian. No commandment is broken. God is not dishonored.

  13. Dude, really?

    You guys call it intercession yet you’re praying to Mary and all those other great guys for intercession.

    Seriously one minute it’s intercession but then I hear from my youth group leader, who is a Catholic and I also no longer desire to be Catholic, my mom is forcing me to go to the Catholic church, “Let’s PRAY a Hail Mary.”

    Ummm… what the heck?

    And God doesn’t play favorites.

    He loves us all EQUALLY.

    I’m a struggler with sin and even I know this better than you.

    FATHER JOE: I am not sure what point you mean to make. Intercessory prayer is an acknowledgement that our relationship with the Lord is not just a personal one, but also corporate. Jesus establishes a community, the Church. We can pray for and with one another. This intercessory role is not limited to the Pilgrim Church or Church Militant but also reaches into the Church of Glory or heaven. God wants us to realize this solidarity with one another and with him. Christ is our King and that makes Mary our Queen Mother. We are baptized and made members of this royal family. The notion of intercessory prayer is no challenge to how God loves each and every one of us. Rather, it is an expression of love that is shared between the members in the community of faith. We are all sinners seeking forgiveness and healing in Christ. However, if you truly want to know God’s will, the posture you must take is one of humility and obedience, not arrogance and dissent.

  14. Well we obviously don’t need, and shouldn’t address anybody/anything except God. I would just love to see Jesus’ face seeing what happen to his little bunch after he died, would be hilarious.

    FATHER JOE: The Holy Spirit protected and guided his little bunch and today it is the Catholic Church with over one billion adherents. The joke is on you.

    Even funnier to see him reading NT, like Acts where his homies are battling what should they do about external stuff like baptism when he earlier explicitly said it’s not important 😀

    FATHER JOE: Our Lord commanded his Church to go throughout the world and to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. It is a command performance… quite necessary, indeed.

    Man, I don’t hate catholics, or other christians on that matter, but when sect claims it got “fullness of teachings” while not even apostles had it (as Jesus said over and over)… sorry, it just looks silly. Not to Jesus stuff about not having masters, or worshipping God in heart and truth, not temples which he can destroy and rebuild in 3 days, so unimportant it was. But nah, LET’S BUILD SOME GOLD PALACE IN VATICAN 😀 The idea of “holy” paintings is beyond me, according to catechism and your faulty idea every picture should be equally holy, if not – some of them have more “power”, which makes them idols in themselves, not to mention those guys standing behind.

    FATHER JOE: You say that you do not hate but you are ready to ridicule from your prejudice and ignorance. That really amounts to the same thing. You would leave the Christian community with no safeguard and no teaching authority. Of course, you wrongly make yourself an authority, even if fallible and clueless. Look in the mirror; that is where you we discover the silliness. Our Lord did not establish a Church just so that they would immediately lose their way after his ascension. The Vatican is not a gold palace, but a testimony to God’s inspiration and truth, in teachings, in worship and in sacred arts. Pictures have no power in themselves. You do not even understand Catholic symbols sufficiently to offer a coherent critique. I was tempted to delete your comments to spare you the embarrassment that sometimes comes to fools; but regard this as a teaching moment. Study before you open your mouth. You might never agree with Catholicism; but you should at least be informed and hopefully a little more guarded so as not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Peace be with you.

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